Thanksgiving is not an all-American holiday, as celebrating gratitude and harvest over a bountiful meal is universal. Dates and traditions are different but many countries have a designated holiday for giving thanks.
Thanksgiving this 2020 falls on Thursday, November 26 and is considered a federal holiday. Since 1941, Thanksgiving has been a national holiday in the US.
Some could contend that Thanksgiving is the archetypal United States holiday. Every year, Americans celebrate the special day by eating dishes including turkey, macaroni and cheese, and green bean casserole while enjoying American leisure activities such as watching football and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, reported Rosetta Stone.
Thanksgiving Around the Globe
Canada celebrates Thanksgiving, but not the American Thanksgiving. Canadians have their own thanksgiving, officially celebrated on the second Monday of October. Many people celebrate it the weekend before. "Canadians actually celebrated their version of Thanksgiving before the American holiday was established. The first Thanksgiving in Canada was reportedly celebrated in 1578, 40 years before the first American holiday," reported LiberalFirst.
In Grenada, Thanksgiving Day is commemorated on October 25. It is the date that commemorates the anniversary of the American-led invasion of Grenada in 1983 that has led to the reimposition of political stability in Grenada.
In the early 1820s, Liberia was established by freed American slaves with the aid of the American Colonization Society. Thanksgiving in this country is about expressing gratitude for the freedom and all the good things in life, reported Navigation Junkie.
The occasion is largely considered a Christian holiday since the 1880s. Thanksgiving traditions involve live music with dancing and the church auctioning off baskets.
Japan celebrates Labor Thanksgiving Day or what they call Kinro Kansha no Hi which is celebrated on November 23 yearly. The significance of the occasion is to commemorate labor and production and providing each other with gratitude.
Elementary school children create drawings and give them as gifts to the neighborhood healthcare workers, police officers, personnel of the Japan Self Defense Force, and the Japan Coast Guard. This is to display appreciation for their contribution to society.
"Erntedankfest" in Germany literally translates to "harvest thank festival." The German language tends to be straightforward in its meaning.
The Thanksgiving cornucopia (also known as a "horn of plenty") comes from a European pagan tradition where farmers would fill up a curved goat horn with fruits, vegetables, and grains as gratitude for the bounty provided by labor from the last season. The holiday is held on the first Sunday of October. Festivities are taken to the streets and town squares for music, parades, dancing and, food.
Brazil's National Thanksgiving Day was inspired by the United States' Thanksgiving. It was initiated by President Gaspar Dutra in 1949 at the suggestion of Brazilian ambassador Joaquin Nabuco who was present at the 1909 Thanksgiving festivities in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral.
The Brazil Thanksgiving is celebrated on the same day as the US Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday in November.
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